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Woman Pastor Is Elected Conference President In Southeastern California
by Adventist Today News Team, October 27, 2013
Delegates to the regular constituency session of the Southeastern California Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church voted today (October 27) to elect Pastor Sandra E. Roberts as conference president. A total of 72 percent of the delegates from the local churches and denominational employees voted in favor of Roberts' election while only 28 percent voted against it.
It is the first time on record that a woman has been elected to the office of conference president in the Adventist denomination, although women have served temporarily as the top officer on a number of occasions, even in the 19th century, and on many occasions as treasurer or secretary of a conference. And women who are ordained ministers serve in similar leadership roles among Adventists in China where the national church does not have the same relationship with the denomination that it does elsewhere. Denominational policy specifies that a conference president is to be an ordained minister, and Roberts is an ordained minister because a year ago the Pacific Union Conference in a constituency meeting established a policy ending gender discrimination in the ordination of clergy. She was the first of this new generation of ordained women to be nominated as a conference president.
When the nominating committee report was presented to the delegates, the chairman of the session, Pastor Riccardo Graham, president of the denomination's Pacific Union Conference, shared with the delegates a request from Pastor Ted Wilson, president of the denomination's General Conference or world headquarters. Wilson had phoned at 7:30 the prior evening, Graham told the assembled delegates, and asked that the session not move ahead with the election at this time because the denomination's international governing body is currently studying the question of the Biblical basis for extending ordination to both women and men.
If the delegates elected a woman as conference president they would be in "confrontation" with the General Conference…
Top Officers Of The Adventist Denomination Respond To Election Of A Woman As Conference President
by AT News Team, October 31, 2013
The top three officers of the General Conference (GC) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church issued a statement Thursday morning (October 31) expressing concern about the election of a conference president in the Southeastern California Conference "who is not recognized by the world church as an ordained minister…" The statement was distributed without additional comment by the denomination's North American Division